From Godwin Tsa, Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has been plunged into a legal duel capable of truncating its presidential primary slated for May 28.
Already, the Abuja division of the Federal High Court has summoned the party to appear before it on May 5 in respect of the suit filed by one of its presidential aspirant, Mr. Cosmas Ndukwe, challenging the scheduled primary to select a candidate for the 2023 poll.
In the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/508/2022, and filed by his lawyer, Mr Paul Erokoro (SAN), Ndukwe is challenging the scheduled presidential primary on the grounds that it breached its own constitution on zoning.
According to him, the PDP has a rotation of elective offices in place and by that arrangement, it ought to be the turn of the South to produce the president in 2023.
Accordingly, Justice Donatus Okorowo of the Federal High Court, Abuja, has ordered the party to appear before it on May 5 to show cause why the request by Ndukwe to stop the scheduled primary for the selection of the party’s standard-bearer in the 2023 presidential election should not be granted.
Ndukwe, former Deputy Speaker of the Abia State House of Assembly, had brought an application for an order of injunction restraining the PDP from proceeding with its scheduled primary election pending the hearing and determination of his suit challenging the position of the party on the issue of zoning of the party’s presidential ticket.
He listed the PDP, its National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, Senator Samuel Anyanwu and Independent National Electoral Commission ( INEC) as first to fourth respondents, respectively, in the case.
In the objection filed by its lawyer, Mr Mahmud Magaji (SAN), the party submitted that the subject matter of the case which borders on whether to zone its presidential ticket to any part of the country is not an issue that the court has the mandate to decide.
It accordingly asked the court to strike out the suit for want of jurisdiction and also dismiss it for being “statute-barred.”